Billboard Music Awards
BBMA were a smashing success
BY CAMERON TEANEY ON June 5, 2014
Since its return in 2011, the Billboard Music Awards has continued to recognize some the world’s most talented artists. This year’s BBMA was no exception. Billboard magazine nominated artists, songs, albums, etc. and then (from those nominations) chose winners of various musical categories based on their popularity on the charts, number of sales, downloads and radio time. On May 18, the winners were announced in the midst of this thrilling red carpet event, which included several stellar performances by top artists ranging from new pop sensations like Ariana Grande to country stars like Luke Bryan.
Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte kicked off the BBMA with a performance of “We are One”, complete with background dancers, images of countries’ flags flashing in the background and J-Lo’s grand entrance. The song emphasizes the importance of different cultures coming together and while the message was nice, the effects were pretty mediocre compared to what was to come.
Perhaps the biggest thrill of the event was an incredible performance by a hologram of the late Michael Jackson. The product of six months of preparation, this holographic creation wowed everyone with “Slave to the Rhythm”; it really felt like Jackson was actually performing. From rising to the stage on a throne in a snazzy gold jacket to breaking out some signature dance moves (including a moon walk), the iconic king of pop proved that he will never be forgotten.
Big time winners included Justin Timberlake, Imagine Dragons and Robin Thicke. Timberlake claimed seven titles, one of which was Top Artist; Imagine Dragons landed five awards and Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines” (which featured Pharrell and T.I) won four awards. While I was hoping Lana Del Rey’s album, “Born to Die”, would win Album of the Year, Imagine Dragons’ album “Night Visions” deserved it and with several recent hits, Timberlake also earned the recognition he received. However, I was a little puzzled at the success of “Blurred Lines”. Putting aside my annoyance with Thicke, I still do not see how his song beat out contenders like Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” or Lorde’s “Royals” for the Top Hot 100 Song Award.
Speaking of Lorde, the New Zealand alternative rocker won Top New Artist and her hit, “Royals”, won Top Rock song. While I don’t think of Royals as a rock tune, I was excited to see the young artist take away some awards. Ariana Grande, another young emerging artist, did not win any awards but killed her duet of her new song “Problem” with the talented rapper Iggy Azalea. Grande’s sassy (yet slightly risque) stage presence and crazy high range will most likely make her a force to be reckoned with at the next BBMA. Other great performances included country artists Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert duet of “Something Bad” and John Legend’s flawless “All of Me”. At the end of the event, the prestigious Icon Award was presented to Jennifer Lopez, who was also the first woman to receive this honor. The award is presented to one based on his/her contribution to the music world. Aside from her phenomenal vocal abilities, J-Lo is also set apart by her successful clothing line, company, acting and dancing careers and philanthropic outlook, making her the perfect recipient for the award.
The 2014 BBMA was a smashing event packed with glam, top-notch talent and amazing effects. It definitely has given the Grammys a run for its money.